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Marlborough Express - 2021-11-26

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Of homes Blenheim needs

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apartment or a standalone home? How many bedrooms do you need? What amenities do you need close by? And what can you afford? ‘‘Blenheim does not have a range of different options, we do build a lot of standalone homes, so it might show you options that don’t currently exist.’’ Independent firm Research First had been commissioned to do the survey, and would contact people by telephone, aiming to have 400 people from urban Blenheim complete the survey online. There would be a quota to make sure enough people from different age bands and geographic areas were included. Toy said even if a majority said they wanted a four-bedroom house on a quarter acre, there would still be work to intensify small, affordable housing in central Blenheim, as national housing policy directed. Blenheim only had so many directions in which to sprawl, with flooding and liquefaction risks to the north and east, and the Wither Hills to the south. ‘‘And the other thing is we can zone land but we don’t necessarily have a lot of control over what gets built. ‘‘Affordability is another factor, and understanding what trade-offs people will make so they can purchase within their level of affordability. ‘‘If you can’t afford a standalone house on a quarter acre, what is your next best option?’’ Toy said. ‘‘New development capacity should be of a form and in locations that meets the diverse needs of communities, and encourages well-functioning, liveable urban environments.’’ The results of the survey would be used to help council staff plan for the type of houses needed in the future. That could include zoning more rural land as available for residential development and putting in infrastructure such as three waters pipes to connect it to services. The council also processed resource and building consents, provided senior housing, and set development contributions policies.

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